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inside "the war room." i'm jennifer granholm. the most famous debates in american history may not have been between presidential candidates. they might have actually been the series of face-offs between illinois incumbent democratic senator steven douglas and his opponent republican abraham lincoln. let's take a look at a scene from the film abe lincoln in illinois which dramatizes their famous match-up. >> it is the old issue of human rights versus property rights. it is the struggle between two principles. the one common right of humanity. the other the divine right of kings. it is the same spirit which says you toil and work and earn bread and i'll eat it. >> jennifer: how fantastic
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that would be to have language like that tomorrow night. debates, those debates dramatize there help to catapult a little known abe lincoln into national politics. coming to us tonight from houston to discuss the debates ahead of tomorrow's verbal bout between president obama and governor romney is douglas brinkley. douglas is a presidential historian. rice university professor and author of the new book "cronkite." welcome back inside "the war room." >> thanks, governor. thanks for having me. >> jennifer: you bet. so is it just me or do you also think that tomorrow's debate is being pumped than any other debate at least in my memory? >> well, i think so because it seems like it has been a longer campaign right? the media now -- every day really every second, people are watching what obama and romney says. it is the dominant story.
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i think people are feeling this is one of those elections of a lifetime which vision for america to go to. so it is a lot of hype for this one and there is a feeling now with barack obama up in the polls, three points nationally but up in some -- almost all of the swing states he might be able to close the deal with the american people tomorrow night if he has a good performance. on the other hand, as governor chris christie said over the weekend, if mitt romney comes in and is able to hold his own or even get a few good jabs in, he could get a bit of a bounce. he's been struggling. this is an important debate. the first one's always important. it set acetone and tenor for the others. >> jennifer: i love the fact have these ringside seats for history in the making. have unearthed a radio clip from the very first -- as far as we know, the very first official presidential debate. it was from a primary match-up between thomas dewey and harold stacken in 1948. lea take a -- let's take a
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listen to dewey. >> i'm wholeheartedly, unswervingly against any esteemed laws outlawing people because of their religious political, social or economic ideas. i'm against it because it's a violation of the constitution of the united states and bill of rights and clearly so. >> jennifer: something about that language that is fantastic. how important were the debates prior to the television era? >> well, it is a great question. it was one where you played the lincoln/douglas debates. we all talk about that. really from 1858 1960, john f. kennedy versus richard nixon, debates didn't play that big a role in presidential campaigns. there were no presidential debates. but you did have in primaries occasionally, squareoffs going on. interesting to even think about stats from minnesota rarely run
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for president -- stacken ran for president every four years. kennedy/nixon was the game changer in debate history. people that listened to it thought nixon won on radio but on television, john f. kennedy won. nobody was that happy with the debates. we had no debates in '64 '68 '72. came back in 1976 when jimmy carter ended up doing well because of gerald ford's famous gaffe. that's the big question. can you become gaffe-free? everybody is going to be looking wednesday night to see if there was a mistake made by either person. it puts a lot of pressure on the candidates. >> jennifer: you mention nixon and kennedy and those who saw the debate felt like kennedy won. what do you think is more important? what the candidates say or how they say it? >> i think it's how they say it.
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to be honest with you talk about the kennedy/nixon debates we all had visuals. what was the difference between kennedy and nixon? a little bit of a difference on cuba policy. little bit on how to win the cold war. but none of us remember what we remember is the visual of john f. kennedy looking dashing and handsome and nixon not wanting to apply makeup on and looking sweaty. so if you're going to read the transcript wednesday night, it could be very well a stalemate or both of them -- you know, held their own. but one gaffe one mistake, one eye roll, famously, you remember when george herbert walker bush looked at his wrist watch. it cost gore started talking about a lockbox and kind of looked very robotic and broke the body space of george w. bush in 2000, it hurt him. so it's those -- this is a theatrical event as much as it is policy. >> jennifer: so great. i can hardly wait.
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i totally love having you come inside "the war room" and bring us this sort of view from history. historian douglas brinkley joining us. thanks so much. after the break, when it comes to our views on public unions, well, let's just say there is a teeny bit of daylight between myself and our next guest. it will be an interesting conversation, i can promise you that and a little later, brett ehrlich picks up the presidential debate ball where douglas brinkley left off and he drops it. >> the key changes to the debate format that will change the face of american
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>> jennifer: so if mitt romney now wants to a choice and he's right. there is a choice. it is a debate about the role of government and creating a civil society, a society where we look out for one another but maybe
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give people the tools to become independent. or we can choose mitt romney. you remember what mitt romney told eye owe wants back in june about president obama. >> he wants to hire more government workers. we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. did he not get the message in wisconsin, the american people did. it is time for us to cut back on government and help the american people. >> jennifer: so do the american people want us to cut the jobs of firemen policemen and teachers? well, sharp scrutiny on the role and the influence of public sector employees and their unions is the focus of the controversial new book, "new york times" best selling book from author and citadel political professor mallory factor. it is called bosses". rob taxpayers blind. mallory factor is joining us from new york. welcome back inside "the war room."
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>> thank you. great to be with you. >> jennifer: glad to have you on. so i am -- i'm amazed by your book in many ways. there is a segment of your book that you have entitled and i'm quoting now obama's magic formula for socialism and then in the book, you write and this is a sentence that you have on page 38... of course it would take until 2008, you write for the real socialist america to come into being with the election of barack obama. now mallory you seem like a reasonable guy. do you really think our president is a socialist? >> i'm not going to talk about that if you are -- >> jennifer: i'm just reading from your book though. >> i understand. i think we're going to agree on a lot of things. at least, i hope we will.
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let's take this issue that you want to take first, of course. if you believe that the growth -- that government growth that government -- continually overregulating government, giving a small percentage of the population, actually 6% of the workers huge benefits. those all there are in government union workers. and you believe that government is the answer to everything, then maybe just maybe you could call him a socialist. but it's not hard and fast. it is a spectrum. romney is not a strict less fair and obama is not a strict socialist. >> jennifer: to even say -- socialist, mallory that's just so off the chain. i mean really. a democrat as president of the united states. to say he's a socialist, i mean really, that is -- the words you just used to believe in
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overregulation, who believes in overregulation? nobody believes in that. who believes that government should solve everything? nobody believes that. those kind of language, don't you think that's the kind of language that serves to cause people not to solve problems in washington? >> no. i think people need to solve problems. i believe in solving problems. and i'm not going to use the word -- i'm not going to say that people are shackled. that's for you guys to use. but people are really -- private sector is really hampered greatly -- i mean greatly by some of the regulations. that are put on them. the amount -- the amount of regulation that small businessmen have to go through. but government has grown out of size. i think what we can agree on and i hope we can is that the government union heads, they're 1%. they confiscate rank and file members. they get 10 to 15 times what rank and file members get paid.
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a secretary treasurer in 2010 of afscme got paid $847,000 and afscme president afscme's president in 18 months spent $325,000 on private jets for himself in 2010. and he also made well over half a million dollars. >> jennifer: i have no idea -- what they're making. but we could also make the same argument about the disparities in ceo pay compared to worker pay but that's not -- >> absolutely. >> jennifer: that's not what your book is about. >> yes, it is. >> jennifer: the same part of your book, just to go back to this for a second. i'm fascinated by this. we've just been having a cftion about the role of government which is something i think you and i both agree is the subject of this election. this book, you attack the president for a speech he made before the american and county and
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municipal employees where he criticized those on the right for having a trickle down only approach to getting jobs in the united states. i'm curious mallory, do you think in this global economy when our economic competitors are not playing by the total hands off free market, trickle down rules, do you think that america will win jobs if we continue to basically be bystanders to being partners with business, to bring jobs here? >> well, we moved a lot of our financial sector jobs out with sarbanes-oxley. i was over in london and saw a presentation by the london stock exchange which says that we're a sarbanes free oxley zone. you don't want to list on the nasdaq. there's a lot of things we're doing to move jobs out. but government is heavily involved in every aspect of our lives. the question is how much more do we want to involved? if we got a little less involved, people could have the freedom to start those
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companies. government will never be able to be out of everybody's lives totally. there will always be a role for government. the question is what is that role? how do you have that role? how do you have that role? this we talk about heavily in shadow bosses. you're seeing states like california illinois, i mean these states are going bankrupt. technically they can't go bankrupt i'm aware of that. you are seeing them under enormous pressure. >> jennifer: that pressure is not from salaries of public employees. in fact, a number public employees has dropped dramatically in this country. in fact, in your book, you wrote -- i have to ask you this question because this language, the culture of public service has changed from a focus on giving back to a focus on getting. i don't know -- i don't been a public employee but can you see how a statement --
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>> i am a public employee. i work for the citadel. it is a public university. >> jennifer: then you should know how -- >> but i -- >> jennifer: reminiscent of the insult mitt romney made of the 47% of americans looking for handouts to. say public employees are takers is beyond offensive to most of the people who might even come and save you and your family if your house was on fire. >> listen, i'm a public employee. i'm proud of it. in the state i'm in, i don't have to join a union if i don't want to. i'm for worker's rights. i want to see workers have the right to make a choice. these unions take in over $14 billion a year and they say they only use 20% to 30%. only 20% to 30% to represent their members. what do they do with the other 70% to 80 pest? the members should get use? >> jennifer: i can tell you
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mallory, we, as the governor of the state that worked with the unions to find huge savings in the size of government, it was a huge benefit to be on good terms with the workers providing the service. i do say this though. i wish we had more time to be able to explore it deeply. these are really important issues. issues that are the crux of -- one of the main cruxes of the presidential election. i appreciate your willingness coming on the show. even though we don't agree. i appreciate your willingness to have a conversation. >> i appreciate you wanting to have a conversation. >> jennifer: author of shod dough box -- of shadow boxes. thanks again. the story of a city that was as important to this country as any in the 20th century and what has become of it in the 21st. >> i had the memory of
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>> can you imagine having breakfast here. look at your view in the morning. i'm going to conquer the world because i can damn near see it from right here. motown right up the street. >> jennifer: that's crystal star self-described urban archaeologist, one of the people whose stories are chronicled in debt rop ya which -- detropia which examines the decline of detroit. detroit has lost 25% of its population and over the past few decades, more than 50%. it is a city that was built for two million people. and it now has less than 700,000 people residing there. why? because detroit is the poster child for the deindustrialization of america and the global shift in manufacturing jobs. america has lost more than 50,000 factories this past decade. and no place has been hurt more
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than the detroit. despite the hardships though, many residents remain. some by choice and others maybe because they have nowhere else to go. tonight, i'm so pleased to be joined by rachel grady and heidi ewing, the filmmakers behind detropia. you may have seen their award-winning documentary, the boys of more rocca and jesus camp. heidi and rachel, welcome inside "the war room." >> it is a pleasure to be here, governor. >> thanks a lot. >> jennifer: you bet. so let me start with you rachel. why did you call the film detropia when the utopia part conjures up images of paradise? >> well, we -- it could go either way actually. it could be interpreted as utopia or a distopia. and you know, detroit has the legacy of being the original you
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on of a place that the middle class could flourish. a place where you could own your own home and own the product that you made. and our question is has it turned into a distopia? can it become a utopia again? what is it to the viewer when you watch our film? >> jennifer: i'm curious heidi, after making the movie do you feel more or less hopeful about detroit's future? >> that's a complicated question. i feel that the problems are very hard to solve. this has been a long time coming. the problems that plague detroit and issues that face america right now in terms of how to replace all of these jobs that have left manufacturing and what do we deal with, global competition, how do we do better, these are big issues the whole country is struggling with. in terms of detroit, i feel like detroiters have been suffering
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for a longer time than most americans and so in a way they're more wiser and they're stronger and maybe more ready to it is a combination, i would say what gave us hope making this film were those detroiters who had the resources to lead the city but choose not to. and they open up their businesses night after night and they try to make a go of it and they do what they can for their city. that part of the story, the character, the people in detroit gave us hope for ourselves as americans. >> jennifer: i know it well. rachel tell -- what did you learn about potentially policies that could bring cities like detroit back -- detroit obviously is the canary in the coal mine but there are a lot of other cities that follow in terms of deindustrialization. what can be done policywise? >> i think a bunch of stuff. i think that encouraging diversity, you know, is something that could have definitely helped detroit.
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having all of its eggs in one basket was a gamble that, you know, hasn't been working out so well for it. i think that having some industrial policy and -- >> jennifer: action hh! industrial policy? >> dirty word? >> jennifer: oh, my goodness! >> china's doing it! >> jennifer: listen, we need industry in this country. if you don't have policy to attract it, what the heck are we good for right? >> the countries that are doing well right now have it. so i think at this point -- i think americans have to start facing up that we need to look to other countries. and see what they're doing right. rather than thinking -- you know, that we have all of the answers. >> also on top of that, if you look at it, obviously there's not a fair playing field here. in terms of policy, i know that both romney and obama have been recently talking about this,
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getting suddenly tough on china in the election season but you know we have currency manipulation going on so it is hard to compete against a country dumping mass amounts of product back to the united states. in terms of policy, that's going to have to be addressed. if you want to see the after effects or the consequences of turning our cheek year after year toward these illegal currency manipulations, you can look no further than detroit city. and also in terms of -- i think detroit needs to really invite more entrepreneurship. it needs to diversify the economy as rached said. we're talking about a city that has relied on the big three to take care of it. for too many years. it is hard to get out of that mindset. i think making detroit an attractive place for small businesses is something that the city should be doing because there is a lot of faith and there are resources and people want to work. >> jennifer: you guys. you know this is near and dear to my heart. i'm grateful to you for both
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coming inside "the war room." for making the film and for not just making rubble porn as they say, for making a film that really captures the essence heidi ewing and rachel grady the filmmakers of detropia. the last word "the war room" on tomorrow's presidential debate will come cour (vo) what is said here could decide the election. current tv presents coverage of the presidential debate. with unrivaled analysis and commentary. >> you're going to hear that used as a major talking point. (vo) the only network with real-time reaction straight from the campaigns and from viewers like you. >>now that's politically direct.
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you disgust me. prove it. enough is enough. d-con baits are specially formulated to kill in one feeding. guaranteed. d-con.
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get out. >> jennifer: the first presidential debate nearly hours away. is it going to live up to the
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sheer entertainment value of the republican primary debate? it would if brett ehrlich had his way. shh, brett's talking now. >> hey you feel debate eve. there's so much riding on this debate, it is sure to be a good one but i have a few suggestions to make it all the better. shorter answers. here's a clip from the nixon/kennedy debate. >> each man shall make an opening statement of approximately eight minutes duration. >> eight minutes? this is the youtube age. i could watch this video 160 times in eight minutes. [ laughter ] like that so much. i have a vote. answer link was almost perfect. >> one word and one word only. >> could you make it a short word. i have to flip back to honey boo-boo. also make it easier to know if the answer is bad. >> did you see a ufo? >> one suggestion, tympany. bad answers seem much worse when
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accompanied by a kettle drum. >> i did. >> oh, no. also, they're always messing with physical orientation. tired of the standing and the sitting. sitting with option to stand. my suggestion, just put one chair in the middle of the stage and have them fight it out. or it may be musical chairs. candidates are typically walking around in circles anyway. my most important suggestion is five words. rick perry must participate. >> i will tell you it's three agencies of government. commerce education and the -- what's the third one there? >> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government -- i can't. the third one i can't. sorry. oops. >> never have another candidate like him. i'm done talking now. >> jennifer: all right. thanks for joining us in "the war room." 35 days until the election.
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The War Room With Jennifer Granholm
Current October 2, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT

News/Business. (2012) (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 8, Mallory 6, Jennifer 5, United States 4, Obama 3, Rachel 3, Douglas Brinkley 3, John F. Kennedy 3, Romney 3, Nixon 2, You Bet 2, Barack Obama 2, Vo 2, Rachel Grady 2, Brett Ehrlich 2, Heidi Ewing 2, London 2, China 2, Illinois 2, America 2
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Duration 01:00:00
Rating PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
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on 10/3/2012